Uganda News

Environmentalists demand that garbage be properly disposed of.

Residents have converted every open area into a rubbish collection site as cities and metropolitan centers grow in population, resulting to poor hygiene.

Environmentalists are concerned about the blame game about who is to blame for the littering in these areas.

As officials warn of a potential health hazard if uncollected waste is not cleared, some citizens accuse authorities of abdicating their responsibility to collect garbage while the business community pays taxes.

When visiting some towns and slums, rubbish can be found not only in isolated locations, but also on streets, including market and restaurant areas, where the risk of developing diseases linked to inadequate waste management, such as dysentery, is high.

Environmentalists have remarked that improper waste management remains a major concern for the authorities, owing to a lack of public awareness in Kampala, which generates at least 1500 tons of garbage everyday.

In addition to housing thousands of poor people, the slum serves as an employment for many people, particularly in the informal economy.

According to experts, this population generates large amounts of garbage on a daily basis, much of which goes uncollected and ends up in the community’s drainage channels.

Dr. Richard Mugambe of Makerere University conducted a study in November 2021 titled, Solid waste segregation and recycling in Kampala slums; facilitators, barriers, and impacts of a sensitization/marketing intervention, which found that while some households segregate their waste, others do not.

Those who do not segregate by generation cite a lack of space, a lack of understanding of the need, the fact that segregation wastes time, and the inability to afford separate bins as reasons.

Poor waste disposal, according to environmentalists, is a major issue not only in slums but across Kampala’s settlements.

Dr. John Bosco Isunju, a lecturer in Makerere University’s College of Health Services’ Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, believes that rubbish disposal should begin at the source.

According to the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), there is a need to educate the public in disadvantaged neighborhoods and elsewhere about the importance of effective waste management, particularly as the country works to reduce its usage of plastics and polythene bags.

“Proper trash disposal begins with generation; bottles are collected separately, biodegradables separately, and classes separately. “Waste that has been properly gathered and processed can easily be recycled,” Isunju explained.

Due to the economic value associated to trash, the Makerere University study discovered that matooke peelings, plastic bottles, and kaveera, as well as food remnants, were largely disposed of properly.

“Peels, bottles, food scraps, and metals are traded for incentives,” Isunju explained.

Poor garbage disposal, he added, is a common environmental conservation concern.

NEMA, on the other hand, is hopeful that the National Environmental Act of 2019 will assist in resolving this issue.

Poor rubbish collection in Kampala has long been blamed on gaps in the city’s waste laws. The City Solid Waste Management Ordinance of 2000 regulates waste disposal.

The regulation specifies that until the waste is collected by KCCA, every owner or occupant of a residence or commercial premises is accountable for the waste generated on those premises.

Dumping waste in areas where it may be or become a public health hazard is forbidden and punished. Water bodies, public roadways, and the roadside are examples of these locations. Throughout 2012, the KCCA attempted to implement the Ordinance, and some people who were discovered littering in the city were prosecuted.

Through the Taasa Obutonde campaign, Next Media Services and its partners, vivo energy Uganda, Uganda Breweries, Stanbic Bank, and NEMA, are walking the sensitisation path.

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